Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bible Study and a Bittersweet Reminder

I'm sitting at my favorite coffee shop this morning, reading for my Bible study tomorrow. It's a welcome break from the "everyday" - I really do love digging into a book and searching out scripture in the Bible. 
As I flipped through my Bible this morning, I found my copy of the passage I read at my dad's funeral (from Meditation 17 by John Donne) and noticed my bookmark still tucked into the scripture I had chosen for that day, John 1:12. 
I think about my dad every day - and sometimes wonder if (and hope that) I thought about him that often before he was gone. 
The days are creeping by, and I'm also inching closer to a trip that will give me the opportunity to stop by his grave. I broached the subject with the kids last night, and my girl definitely wants to go and to leave flowers. It'll be a tough visit - the first time back, and also near his birthday - but I think it will be good to do it together. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wondering what the "after" will feel like

For now, you can catch me here (in the first comment).

Lucy's written a lot about her mom - mostly sweet and funny memories.  She's written posts about what it's like to miss her mom, too.  I've searched and re-read a lot of those posts lately.  (Lucy, if you've been paying attention to your blog stats, that was me...)  I don't know if I'll say much more about what I'm feeling in this season, but in case you were checking in, well, here's just one of the reasons for the blog silence. 

An Interesting Day

I posted a status update on Facebook a few hours ago:

"It has been an interesting day..."

I got a couple of inquiries by folks just checking in, a couple of encouraging comments, and three likes.  I wasn't really trying to stir things up or make anyone super-curious, I was just commenting on the day thus far.  There was fodder for interesting conversation and there were some things that gave me pause, made me reflect.

We have actually had an interesting few days leading up to this point.  There have been things that make me question and pray, things that make me wonder if I really just need to grow a thicker skin, and things that have brought me to tears.  I have been frustrated, sad, annoyed, perplexed, thrilled, excited, and fearful. 

And no, reader, I'm not going to publish a laundry list of all those things here.  I hate to be "mysterious" - because truly, I'm pretty much an open book to anyone who knows me.  No poker-playing for me.  Now is simply not the time, and it may never be.  However, this is my space to share, to think, to save things for later.  For now, I'm using it to "think out loud."

There have been bright spots, for sure.  We spent a quiet day at home for the 4th of July (one of my favorite holidays, right behind Thanksgiving), and went over to a friend's house for lounging and fireworks later in the evening.  We had a lovely Saturday - the weather has been exemplary for this time of year, and I truly love having very few commitments and 'to-do' items for a weekend.  I have missed running with my BRF (best running friend) this week, but trading in an early morning run for a quiet Saturday morning did our whole family good.

I've never been more guarded, and yet more open and vulnerable, than since I went back to work last summer.  It sounds like such an oxymoron - like "deafening silence" - and yet it feels so very true. 

((I stopped writing at this point, and am coming back much later to review the draft.  I've decided to click "Publish" - 8.28.2014))

Saturday, June 28, 2014

More of birthday #8

Miss M needed a cake on her "real" birthday, and I was more than happy to oblige!  I love to bake, so birthdays are extra fun in that respect. I rarely bake cakes - we just never finish them - but there are usually some extra folks around for birthdays to help us out!

The day actually started with a fun new tradition, the birthday streamers, that Big J and I set up the night before. (And the birthday streamers started with Little J's birthday last year. Due to a crazy schedule, we needed something a little extra fun and crazy to commemorate his big day. It was such a hit, Miss M has been eagerly looking forward to it this year!)

It's sure hard to get good pictures at night! We set this all up the night before, after the kiddos were asleep. 

I missed seeing M wake up and discover all of the streamer craziness, but Big J said she loved it!

I let her take some selfies with my phone on the way to day camp, we had her well check that afternoon (thankfully no shots, and she was excited to get her hearing checked!), then met her Birthday Buddy (a friend from church with the exact same birthday, just a couple of hours older) for ice cream. That evening, we had dinner at a restaurant of her choosing (Cheddar's) and came home for birthday cake!  Yep, you can have two desserts on your birthday - and one before dinner!

There were a few gifts waiting at home - a couple of art and activity books and a camp chair in her favorite color (blue!). She's also gotten a couple of birthday cards with money and gift cards, so today we took her shopping to buy something special. She picked out a Lego set, which she completed with just a little help.  I'm pretty sure she's going to enjoy Lego camp later this summer!

Happy #8, M!

My kids are growing up, y'all. And last weekend we had a party for the littler of my littles (though they really are not so little any more). Miss M turned 8!  We had a small, backyard party that she helped plan. She also helped with some of the favors and decorations. Our theme was "magical rainbow" - and here's a bit of what we put together...

Wreath for the front door with removable number 8. As you can see, I hadn't actually attached it at this point. 

Water bottles - and plenty of them - since the weather would be pretty warm, even for a party in the morning. 

Tissue paper pins for decorations - eventually hung underneath the canopy we set up (to provide some shade for the refreshments). 

Party favors in progress - magic wands, of course! These were definitely a team effort - and so much fun!  Each party-goer got their own color or wand, silly string, and goody bag (see other items in the background).

Cake pops!!! So yummy! And all 35 disappeared between party goers and parents (Miss M is ever the hostess, so she gave them to parents as they picked up their kids from the party).  Which was good, since I knew I'd be baking a layer cake for her actual birthday.

Centerpiece painted by Miss M!

The refreshment table. I didn't get a good pic of the poms hanging underneath - but they really added a lot!

It was such a low-key, fun morning! Additional festivities and pictures to follow - her real birthday wasn't for a couple more days!